Bryant scored 16 of his 28 points in the third quarter as the
Los Angeles Lakers dominated the second half in beating the Golden
State Warriors 101-85.
Bryant, who made 10-of-12 shots and 8-of-9 free throws in 32
minutes, sat out the fourth quarter.
"I got a lot of easy opportunities," he said. "Just open
looks, within the rhythm of the game, taking what the defense gives
"I don't think they want to give me any openings, any gaps.
They did, and I took advantage of them."
Bryant came out of a shooting slump by making 9-of-18 shots in a
110-80 victory over the Clippers on Friday night. Before that, he
had made only 31-of-84 shots.
O'Neal went 9-for-17 in scoring 20 points, and also had
team-high totals of six assists and seven rebounds.
Otherwise, the Lakers shot 19-for-51, including 3-of-16 from
3-point range, and that includes a pair of 3-pointers in the final
5 1/2 minutes by Brian Shaw.
"The defense has to hold you in games when you're not shooting
great," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "Our outside shooting,
especially our 3-point shooting, still leaves something to be
Devean George added a season-high 13 points for the Lakers
(18-3), who won their second straight after losing two in a row.
O'Neal said he thought it was colder than usual in Staples
Center, and had trouble getting his legs loose.
"I just told my guys to cut hard to the basket, and I was going
to give them little drop-passes," he said.
Rick Fox said it's nice to have a teammate who can draw the kind
of attention O'Neal does and be looking to hit the open man.
"He probably could have had 12 assists if some of us could have
made more shots," Fox said. "But it's nice to know he's willing
to create for his teammates. He's never been a person who's been
selfish in that respect, and he's just gotten better at his
The Warriors were playing their second game under Brian Winters,
promoted from assistant coach to succeed Dave Cowens, who was fired
before a 93-84 victory over Memphis on Saturday night.
"We played a good first half, and the beginning of the third
quarter was pretty good," Winters said. "But then they upped
their pressure, we turned it over, and went through a streak where
we didn't score.'
Bryant scored eight points -- six on three thunderous dunks -- to
spark a 12-0 run by the Lakers that put them on top 76-60 with 1:08
left in the third quarter.
It was 78-65 entering the final period, and four points by
O'Neal and another pair by George put the Lakers ahead by 19. The
Warriors went scoreless for the first 5 1/2 minutes of the quarter.
"We made a couple turnovers in the third quarter, and they
converted at the other end," Dampier said. "You can't do that
against a good team like that. We were right there the whole game
The Warriors had six of their 19 turnovers in the third quarter.
The Lakers led 46-42 after an uninspiring first half in which
they shot 42.2 percent and the Warriors 40 percent.
Both teams were more accurate in the second half, with the
Lakers finishing 38-of-80 (47.5 percent) and the Warriors 33-of-77
The game was the nightcap of an NBA doubleheader at Staples
Center. The Clippers beat Detroit 82-77 in the opener. ... The
Lakers have won 15 of their last 16 games against the Warriors in
Los Angeles. ... Winters said he plans to meet with his players
individually to discuss their roles. He said there are two
immediate goals he has in mind: Improvement on defense, and better
decision-making. ... Hughes, for one, endorsed the coaching change.
"I think it was done for the betterment of the organization," he
said. "We're just trying to put everything together." ...
Warriors guard Bobby Sura had three stitches applied to a cut over
his right eye in the second quarter, and returned after halftime.
He scored eight points. ... O'Neal came up with new nicknames for
himself and Bryant -- Fire and Ice. "I'm always mad and he's always
calm," he said in identifying himself as Fire and Bryant as Ice.